This week, we begin short series on estate planning. Do you know the what, why, when, and how related to estate planning? Estate planning involves making plans for the transfer and distribution of your estate after death. Your estate is all the property that you own including cash, clothes, jewelry, cars, houses, land, retirement, investment and savings accounts, etc.
Estate planning should include specific objectives and goals such as making sure most of the estate is transferred to your beneficiaries; paying the least amount of taxes on your estate; and assigning guardians for minor children.
Many do not think or consider estate planning until its too late or later in life. So when should you consider estate planning? At what age is recommended? A good rule of thumb is to start planning for the ultimate distribution of your estate when you have something to distribute or someone to distribute it to. Without an estate plan, you are leaving it up to the court to decide who should receive your property or who will care for your children. We recommend that even single adults without property or children have at least some of the pieces of a comprehensive estate plan in place as a sort of contingency plan to protect their interests and wellbeing.
Just in case you still think estate planning is still not for you, here are the top reasons why estate planning should be considered for your inclusive financial portfolio:
- Protect your beneficiaries which includes minor beneficiaries and/or adult beneficiaries from bad decisions, outside influences, creditor problems and divorcing spouses.
- Minimize legal fees, taxes, and time in settling your affairs by abbreviating the settlement process and reducing the potential the payments of federal estate taxes and/or state inheritance taxes.
- Provide support and financial stability for your surviving spouse, children, and grandchildren. This represents preserving your wealth for later generations.
- Ensure your wishes are carried out when you can no longer manage your affairs. Next week, we will discuss the important components of your estate plan.
- Distribute assets in a timely fashion, with a minimum of legal hassle.
- Provide enough cash to meet expenses and prevent the forced sale of assets.
- Protect your family’s privacy with an estate plan designed to prevent your will from becoming public record.
- Set and meet expectations of your survivors so there is no confusion or misunderstanding.
Our goal is to start thinking about estate planning and how to incorporate into your financial portfolio. Stay tuned until next week as we discuss the basic components of estate planning.
Remember our goal is to get Financial F.I.T. (Focused, Involved to Transform your life).
Until next week,